KOLKATA: Charges of violation of the model code of conduct are piling up thick and fast even before many parties finalise the names of their candidates for Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha (LS) seats. Causing outrage is – among others - a music video featuring a song by the BJP’s Asansol MP and former playback singer Babul Supriyo, who is also a union minister of state. Lyrics from the song are, “Didi (Mamta Banerjee) wears rubber flip-flops even though her brothers are all millionaires.” Another line from the song derides her Kalighat home as a “school for thieves”. The song triggered Trinamool (TMC) and informed the Election Commission (EC), which in turn, asked Supriyo to explain the video's appearance on the social media without the EC's clearance.
Supriyo said, “I didn't upload it. The media were present when the video was being filmed in Mumbai.” Meanwhile in Birbhum, a satirical poem is at the centre of the squabble between the BJP and the TMC. The lines say, “If you open your eyes you will see development, the chief minister's favourite agenda, standing on the road with sword in hand.” The poem was written by Bengal's most revered octagenarian poet Sankha Ghosh as a scathing comment on the violence and murders that had marked rural elections last year. It was quickly adopted by the opposition to attack the TMC and now the ruling party is using the same poem as election graffiti.
TMC's local firebrand leader Anubrata Mondal said, “Sankha Ghosh is no poet but he is right. Look outside, you'll see development on every street.” Mondal's other remark had the BJP pulling the trigger and crying foul. He said that his party cadres would hand out nakuldana (a local candy said to resemble a small bullet) to voters to ensure the TMC's victory. The parties are even appealing to ineligible voters. BJP leaders complained to the EC about TMC's Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy, who allegedly distributed plastic water guns to kids on the occasion of the Holi festival.
The party also gave the EC a video clip and alleged that the TMC's north Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh had threatened voters in Cooch Behar by telling them not to be afraid of the Center's paramilitary forces on guard, when they go to vote.
Meanwhile, protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated veterans and defectors from the ruling Trinamool Congress to take on Didi's party in the state.